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Bethany announces modifications of Messiah Festival events
Messiah: The Composition and Afterlife of Handels Masterpiece by Jonathan Keates is a readable history of Handel's beloved oratorio. - photo by Cristy Meiners

LINDSBORG — Bethany College announced its plan to postpone all performances of Handel’s Messiah scheduled for April 12, Easter Sunday, to Friday, June 19. 

“We had wanted to perform Messiah with a limited number of singers and players, but with the Governor’s proclamation on March 24 we have chosen to forego that performance and focus on the planned performance on June 19, in conjunction with Lindsborg’s Midsummers Festival,” said Artistic Director Mark Lucas. He is inviting all singers and players who have ever performed Messiah to join in the performance in June. 

“There will be a brief rehearsal earlier that day, but otherwise everyone is invited to just show up and perform.”  

It is hoped that this may be a time for members of the community and the region to come together after staying home for so long to combat the virus. If for any reason there are still restrictions in place in June, Lucas said he and all those involved with planning for the Messiah Festival of the Arts will reevaluate. First and foremost is attention to the health and safety of performers and patrons. 

“Handel’s Messiah will be performed in Lindsborg, by members of the Bethany Oratorio Society, in 2020.  Exactly how that will look depends on guidelines set by our local, state, and national officials.” While a delay of the Messiah may seem unprecedented, it was postponed in 1918, and continued successfully thereafter.

The Messiah performance will be free and open to the public. However, a freewill offering will be taken to offset the costs of the performance.  

Those who have already purchased tickets to attend in person will receive an email from the Messiah Festival Ticket Office with instructions on how to receive a refund or choose store credit. Store credit can be used to purchase tickets through the Messiah Festival website for any future events. If you have purchased tickets and do not receive an email in the next week, please contact Taylor Deutscher at 

All other events planned as part of Messiah Festival of the Arts, 2020: Celebrating Women in the Arts will be rescheduled.